The Peace of Christmas

Written by Rachel Denison

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” –Luke 2:14

These words fill my heart today. The story of Jesus’ birth has to be one of my favorites in all of Scripture. It’s so effortless to relate to each of the different people involved. I can see myself in each of them, and I bet you can do the same. I can’t help but tangibly feel the awe and wonder that must’ve filled the shepherds’ hearts as they heard, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:8-11).

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:13-14)

The birth of Jesus activated many wonderful things—peace on earth, the promises of God fulfilled, the hope of the world born—tidings of great joy to all people.

The peace on earth Jesus brought is not necessarily a world without war, but for us peace with God, an eternal resounding promise of peace rather than wrath, mercy instead of judgment, pursual in place of abandonment—all the promises of God culminating in the birth of his precious Son.

You know, the people of Israel didn’t expect their Promise of God to come in this way. They expected their prophesied Messiah to come charging in on a horse, dressed for battle. And he came as a helpless babe. How often is that the case with us? How often do we take the promises of God and run with them, leaving behind the simple question our dear friend Mary did not forget to ask: how? How will this be? (Luke 1:34)

I think we would rid ourselves of so much disappointment if we simply allowed God to define the how. I think we could all learn something from Mary’s pure reverence and trust. Even in seemingly impossible circumstances, God’s promises will come to pass. And this is something that Mary knew and treasured deep within her heart.

More than anything this Christmas season, I feel the Lord speaking over me peace and trust. No matter my circumstances, the promises he’s spoken into my heart will come for me. The how is entirely up to him no matter how I may try to control my situation. But that’s where the peace and trust come in.

The birth of Jesus did not disappoint. God’s plan did not fail, though it took on a very different form than expected. God knows the best way. He is all wisdom, and his trustworthy heart toward us is infinitely pure. So today we can take hold of the Peace of Christmas and let it settle into our hearts. God is never holding out on us. Let's allow his peace to guide our wandering hearts to still waters and give them rest. May our hearts respond, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).